Cross-media selling is certainly in vogue at the moment, and I’ve
listened to several sales bosses who have sounded like excited kids in a
sweet shop while describing the wonderful pick-and-mix media packages
they can now put together.
But before anyone gets carried away, it is worth taking a look at some
research commissioned recently by Carlton Media Sales. Using a sample of
150 media agency planners and buyers and 50 client advertisers, the
research examines how media sales services and initiatives are received
by their target audience.
Ten media owners are rated in terms of buyers’ familiarity with their
offerings and satisfaction with their service levels. All very
interesting stuff - although Carlton’s impressive showing under both
criteria will doubtless prompt some carping from jealous rivals about
the validity of the data.
Still, it looks a professional piece of work and all media owners could
benefit from a glance at the section that examines which ’key
capabilities’ the buyers are looking for from their media sales
Anyone who reads our ’How to Sell to ...’ column on a regular basis will
not be surprised to learn that planner/buyers consider ’knowledge of
products and services’ to be the most important attribute of any sales
They also think it crucial the sales teams are ’authoritative and know
their market’ and are able to ’deliver agreements effectively’.
Far less important to the agency folk is a media owner’s reputation as
an innovator or its ability to be ’exciting and interesting to deal
with’. This is proof, if any were needed, that you don’t have to have
done a bungee jump on LSD at the weekend to flog a spot on Monday
But the most interesting finding of all was that agency staff consider a
media owner’s least important attribute - yes, below even the ’being
interesting’ quotient - is its ’involvement in a greater breadth of
media market activities’.
Another way of interpreting all this is that agencies and clients are
not yet bothered about picking up cross-media deals - they are far more
concerned that each medium does its job and does it well.
That is not to say that there is no place for a cross-media package.
Where the package is genuinely creative and enables the client to put
together a cleverly integrated campaign - I cannot get Nike’s recent
’GeoForce’ football campaign out of my mind - it can prove invaluable.
But I wonder whether whole new departments and sales restructures are
needed in order to produce these one-off spectaculars.
The Carlton research suggests it is vital that media owners do not
neglect core products, however exciting the prospect of a cross-media
package may be.